It is virtually impossible for a middle class American citizen to run for high public office. Both incumbents and candidates tend towards the possession of personal wealth and require the support from the even more wealthy be they corporations or the rich to which they must be beholden.
Regarding Congress: “As Americans worry about their own finances, their elected representatives in Washington—with a collective net worth of $3.6 billion—are mostly in good shape to withstand a recession. U.S. senators had a median net worth of approximately $1.7 million in 2006, the most recent year for which their financial data is available, and 58 percent of the Senate's members could be considered millionaires.
In the House of Representatives, the median net worth was about $675,000, with 44 percent of members having net worths estimated to be at least $1 million. Members of Congress saw their net worths soar 84 percent from 2004 to 2006, on average,” per OpenSecrets.org.
Meanwhile, the tip of the iceberg show us that the 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the 50 million households in the bottom half of our population ( www.beyondplutocracy.com chapter 15, footnote 2 ); more than the combined GNP of the 41 poorest nations with their 550 million people (www.lookingglassnews.org). The top 10 percent own 71 percent of the nation's wealth while the bottom 40 percent own 0.2 percent.I’m not suggesting this wealth needs to be redistributed. I do suggest, however, that they, combined with major international corporations and trade associations so influence and corrupt our elected officials as to make a mockery of our representative democracy. Ours is a plutocracy.
Through lack of fair-equitable taxation and Government subsidies attributable to their influence, this plutocracy is responsible for the funding gaps existing in our education and healthcare systems as well as other social needs and our budget deficits.
This plutocracy is responsible for our balance of trade deficits and loss of American jobs. This plutocracy benefits greatly from Bush’s Iraq War.
And, for all of the Catholic Democrat and Republican plutocrats out there, I am delighted to inform them, just in case they might have missed it, that they are sinning according to the Vatican. Can the Protestants be far behind?
On March 8, the Vatican listed new sinful behavior. Specifically included as new areas of sinful behavior were social and economic injustices and the widening social and economic differences between the rich and the poor. Some have suggested the poor benefit from the philanthropic works of the rich. To some extent I am sure that it is true. So too, however, is the observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. who said:
“Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”
I doubt that any, or at least few, in Congress will grapple with these inequities. Neither Obama nor McClain have demonstrated any willingness to do so. On the other hand both Nader and McKinney have.
Neither Obama nor McClain have done much, nor in my opinion will, to deserve your support in correcting three decades of worsening economic inequities, social injustices, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. They will not because both the Democrats and the Republicans are beholden to wealth.
I suggest that both Nader and McKinney have and would.
A vote for either is a denial of a vote for a Democrat. When enough of us do, they might get the message. If you know of another way, please let me know.
I urge your consideration to vote for a third party.